Black Dog Syndrome. Are you aware that the least adopted, most feared and most killed dogs are black dogs?
Click this link to see the Today Show Video for the Black Dog Story.
The fear of black dogs is classified as a syndrome. Fear of black dogs is a phenomenon throughout the world. Because of this bias, black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals.
Animal shelters work to overcome this syndrome from pet adopters but black dogs still remain the most abandoned and most euthanized dogs in animal shelters.
To overcome this phenomenon Green Pets America has created an Awareness and Advocacy program, which we have funded and named Black Dog Syndrome Advocacy. org
As the Executive Director and founder of a dog rescue non-profit, Green Pets America Charities, I have spent the last 12 years involved with rescuing dogs from shelters. Through this, one thing became apparent to me. Black Dogs were the least adopted of all the dogs we rescued from shelters. We always had a higher than usual selection of black dogs, versus light colored or mixed color dogs. We found that black dogs languished not only longer in shelters, but rescue groups as well. Where we could adopt other colors on average in three months, some black dogs took up to a year.
So we did some research and found that our experience was not unusual, it was sadly normal. Numerous respected national organizations had long recognized BDS as an issue that adversely affects the adoption rates.
So, what exactly is this syndrome? Black Dog Syndrome is a sometimes conscious, but most times unconscious mental, and emotional bias in humans against black dogs. There are many reasons for this bias, including superstitious fear of black dogs, “old wives’ tales” about black dogs, Black dogs depicted in movies and literature as evil or devilish. A scary, growling black dog can be seen in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the Harry Potter series and The Omen.
In a recent national survey, Pet finder the respected national organization reported that most pets are listed for on their site on average for about 3 months: whereas, black dogs average 12 months on their adoption site.
The only real fact, not ignorance, superstition or media, and folklore bias are that black dogs do not photograph well on animal shelter websites. This is easily overcome however by simply photographing black dogs in front of blue screens or blue paper, as we do at GPA.
So what can you do to help end Black Dog Syndrome?
You can go to an animal shelter and adopt a black shelter dog.
You can share this article with friends and family, encouraging them to consider adopting a black dog the next time they get a dog.
You can remind people it’s not the color of the dog, but the size of her or his heart that is important.
And you can make a donation to Green Pets America Charities advocacy program, BLACK DOG SYNDROME ADVOCACY.